Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Longing For A Miracle To Happen

When you're longing for a miracle to happen, you might say, "Lord, if you exist, perform this miracle!"  And God does not hear you. Or perhaps He will, if your soul really needs it. More importantly, believe in God before any miracle occurs! Do not expect miracles; the deepest relationship with Christ is spiritual. Pray to the Lord and be in His presence, have Him abide in you! And God will answer you with His unseen wonders, through the strength of your spirit, rousing you to greater understanding of His judgments. Not as we tend to understand historically and rationally, but in a deeper spiritual sense, when you see the hand of God in everything.
Father George Calciu: Interviews, Homilies and Talks

"When you are longing for a miracle..." I think I am always longing for a miracle. I often feel like what I imagine the Prophets of old felt when they cried out to God, "Tear open the heavens and come down!" I wonder in prayer why God doesn't heal or help of fix this or that person in pain or this or that terrible situation. I long for the manifestation of the God of mercy and love, the God whom I know in my heart, the God who has again and again acted miraculously in my life and in the lives of those near me. I have seen God's power. God's arm is not too short to save.

However, and how often I forget this, God's ways are not my ways. As Fr. George Calciu says, God performs miracles when our "soul really needs it." I keep forgetting: Miracles are not about God fixing things. Miracles are signs to lead us into deeper relationship with Him. The goal is not a body without pain or a fixed situation, the goal is to abide in Christ. The goal is to see the hand of God in everything, thus understanding God's judgements--that is, understanding not with the rational mind, but understanding with the heart, the nous.

Our minds are so captivated by the external. We feel our weakness, our pain, our inadequacy. We see others hurting even more. We are just like Zuzu in It's a Wonderful Life asking daddy to fix the wilting flower. Flowers wilt and die. We all wilt and die. Zuzu doesn't know this yet. She can't. She must grow; and as she grows, she comes to know about wilting and dying. But wilting and dying is not the end of the story. This is what George Bailey learns only through his lifetime of dying for others.

Fr. George Calciu spent about twenty years in Communist prisons in Romania. Even in prison, he saw miracles. But God did not free the prisoners; though God showed signs and wonders, still they were beaten and mistreated in prison. God gave them as many miracles as their souls needed.  And through it all, God abode within them. Everything became miracle.

There are miracles greater than the parting of the Red Sea, greater even than raising the dead. These are the unseen miracles "through the strength of your spirit rousing you to greater understanding of God's judgements." The goal of our life is not to make it to eighty without suffering in the mind or body. The goal of our life is to know our Creator. The goal of our life is be changed, to be transfigured, to become like Christ. This begins with the knowledge of God in our hearts: the growing and transforming unseen miracle.

We should pray for all kinds of miracles, seen and unseen. But we should not expect external miracles every time we ask for them. These are in God's hands. If our soul needs them, He will grant them. We must entrust ourselves to God. This is our salvation. Like Jesus in the Garden we must learn to ask for what we desire, and to always add "nevertheless." Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done. Nevertheless, I long for You more than I long for Your miracles. Nevertheless, I desire to know You more than I desire anything else.

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